British Railways in the 1960s: London Midland Region (Kindle)
After the Second World War, Britain's railways were rundown and worn out, requiring massive investment and modernisation. The Big Four railway companies were nationalised from 1948, and the newly formed British Railways embarked on a programme of building new standard steam locomotives to replace older types. These started to come on stream from 1951.
This programme was superseded by the 1955 scheme to dieselise and electrify many lines and so the last loco of the Standard types was built in 1960 and the steam locomotives had been swept entirely from the BR network by 1968.
This series of books, 'The Geoff Plumb Collection', is a photographic account of those last few years of the steam locomotives, their decline and replacement during the transition years. Each book covers one of the former 'Big Four', in the form of the BR Regions they became: the Southern Railway, London Midland & Scottish Railway, Great Western Railway and London & North Eastern Railway, including some pictures of the Scottish lines of the LMS and LNER.
The books are not intended to convey a complete history of the railways but to illustrate how things were, to a certain extent, in the relatively recent past and impart some information through comprehensive captions, which give a sense of occasion often a last run of a locomotive type or over a stretch of line about to be closed down.
The photos cover large parts of the country, though it was impossible to get everywhere given the overall timetable of just a few years mainly when the author was still a schoolboy with limited time and disposable income to get around.
Pictures are of the highest quality that could be produced with the equipment then available, but they do reflect real life and real times. In simple terms, a look at a period not so long ago but now gone forever.
Like a decent steam shed, this book is well worth a visit.Steam World, March 2020
This is an evocative collection of views of the twilight of BR steam.Railway Modeller, January 2020
A beautifully illustrated visual story.Miniaturas JM
Read the Spanish review here
Profusely illustrated and providing impressively informative commentaries throughout, "British Railways In The 1960s: London Midland Region" is superbly organized and presented from cover to cover, making it an enduringly valued and prized addition to personal, community, and academic library British Railroading History collections and supplemental studies lists.Midwest Book Review
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Thanks to the high quality of the photographs it contains, and the stories of each of them, this book is essential to know a very important period on the British railways. Looking at some of the images it is hard to think that any of them were made when the author was little more than a child. Another great photo book by Pen and Sword Books.Unes Cuantos Trenes Blog, Jorge del Valle
Read the full Spanish review here